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Judge's Decision Means Nomination Signature Rules Won't Change

A federal judge has refused to ease the requirement that candidates for statewide office get nominating petition signatures from residents of at least three counties. 

Cory Langhofer of the Arizona Public Integrity Alliance charged that violates federal protections, but the judge says Langhofer waited too long to challenge the requirement for this year’s election.

He questioned the issue when there were less than two weeks until the petition deadline, May 29. The judge says the requirement has been on the books since statehood. 

Langhofer says the legal battle is not over.

“We're continuing to pursue the lawsuit because the statute is unconstitutional even though the judge said it can be applied in this election cycle," Langhofer said.

That means the issue is dead for this year. 

Langhofer’s case is based on the fact that one signature in Maricopa County equals only about one one-hundredth of a percent of the total needed for a Republican contender, while one signature in Greenlee County, which has fewer residents and even fewer Republicans, gets a candidate about 5 percent of the total needed there.